Six Bricks

By Jeremy Meltingtallow

Jerry and I work in weeklong batches of dailies, “six bricks to a load,” as we say. In our quirky division of labor, it has evolved that I assign dates to the dailies before filing them.


When we’re telling a story the chronology of the strips is obvious. Otherwise day and date selection is arbitrary and I find myself wondering if there should be any rhyme or reason to choosing certain strips for certain days.

I used to hear that the weakest strip in a week’s batch should run on Saturday. That seems upside-down to me – Saturday is the one day besides Sunday when a reader would seem more likely to linger an extra moment. I usually schedule one of our best for that day.

Sometimes subject matter suggests placement. We don’t run a strip that’s happening in school on a Saturday. Likewise, a strip about sleeping till the crack of noon probably won’t run on a Monday. I don’t know if readers make these literal connections, but I like the sense of being in loose rhythm with their lives.

There’s a wonderful comic strip editor we’d see in Sweden whenever we did book tours through Scandinavia – Alf Thorsen is his name, give or take an umlaut. Alf had a philosophy about the weekly pacing of a comic strip which he would narrate with great affection for readers.

“On Monday, the working man must rise and face the week – you must give him your most hopeful and funniest strip. On Tuesday he has begun to find his energy – try to sustain his sense of purpose. On Wednesday, his spirits have begun to fade – you must…”

It was quaint and charming and you wanted to hug the guy. Comic strip reading now seems so much more random and sporadic. Does anybody have a new philosophy for the age of Daily Ink, iPads and Hulu?